MakerBot, a Brooklyn-based 3D printing company that specializes in desktop 3D printers, announced Wednesday that it is laying off about 30 percent of its staff. The news comes less than a year after the company outsourced its manufacturing jobs to China and laid off the majority of its factory workers from its Sunset Park Industry City headquarters.
The struggling startup saw its valuation dip by $100 million in 2015, as the desktop 3D-printer concept struggled to catch on. Last year's layoffs sucked the air out a triumphant 2015 ribbon cutting in Sunset Park, where MakerBot postured as a key tenant on a campus benefiting from millions of dollars in city investment. "The singlemost thing that we are very proud of is that it's happening in Brooklyn," then-CEO Jonathan Jaglom said at the time.
MakerBot also laid off 20 percent of its workforce in April 2015, a few months before the ribbon cutting, and another 20 percent that October. MakerBot had about 500 employees as of October 2014, suggesting that the first two rounds of layoffs hit about 200 workers.
A spokesman for MakerBot confirmed that the layoffs are starting today "across the board," but declined to comment on the exact number, or what departments workers are being cut from. He also would not confirm if layoffs are taking place in Industry City, where the company maintains a downsize production operation, and/or MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn. He added that the company has an "international presence."
MakerBot was purchased by Stratasys, an international 3D-printing company based in Minnesota, for $403 million in 2013.
"The leadership team and I have been working on a new organizational structure, and as part of this new plan we will reduce staff at MakerBot by 30%," said CEO Nadav Goshen in a statement Wednesday. He added that the company will focus on developing products for the "professional and education segments," rather than 3D printers for at-home use.
Earlier this week, during his annual State of the City address, Mayor de Blasio focused his remarks on the importance of "good paying jobs," pledging to create 100,000 over the next decade. On Tuesday, the mayor held a press conference in Sunset Park to announce the city's $136 million investment in a new campus for fashion and film production at Bush Terminal.
The Mayor's Office didn't immediately comment on the continued downsizing at MakerBot.
"MakerBot will be providing severance pay and will be offering career services to parting staff," Goshen stated.
[UPDATE 3:00]: "Our tech ecosystem is rapidly growing and hiring new workers at a steady clip," said Mayoral spokeswoman Melissa Grace. "That’s a trend line bigger than any one company."